The US Soccer Federation has offered identical contract proposals to the players of both the men’s and women’s national teams.
Players from the women's national team filed a federal class-action lawsuit back in 2019 seeking equal pay, a claim which was dismissed but had been appealed.
"We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility,” striker Alex Morgan had said back in 2019, with Megan Rapinoe adding: "We feel a responsibility not only to stand up for what we know we deserve as athletes, but also for what we know is right - on behalf of our team-mates, future team-mates, fellow women athletes, and women all around the world."
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On Tuesday, USSF said in a statement that equal pay was the “best path forward”. A statement read:
US Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams.
“This proposal will ensure that USWNT and USMNT players remain among the highest-paid senior national team players in the world, while providing a revenue sharing structure that would allow all parties to begin anew and share collectively in the opportunity that combined investment in the future of US Soccer will deliver over the course of a new CBA.”
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The USSF statement continued by saying the federation would not agree on a deal where World Cup prize money is not equalised.
Per Associated Press, FIFA awarded $400m (£289m) in prize money for the 32 teams at the 2018 men’s World Cup, including $38m (£27.5m) for eventual winners France, and awarded $30m (£21.7m) for the 24 teams at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, including $4m (£2.9m) to champions USA.
“US Soccer will not agree to any collective bargaining agreement that does not take the important step of equalising Fifa World Cup prize money,” USSF said.
“US Soccer believes that the best way to achieve these important goals is by the women’s and men’s players’ associations coming together to negotiate one contract.
“However, if the players’ associations choose to continue to negotiate separately as they have to date, US Soccer will invite the USWNTPA to sit in on the negotiations with the USNSTPA and vice versa, in the interest of full transparency.”
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